July 30, 2016 3:30 am
I can hardly believe that I am going to return to that place. I won’t be going alone as my dad and the ranger will be going with me. I wish my dad would change his mind but, he won’t. We have all split up and have our assignments. The ranger, his name, by the way, is Tom, is getting the gear that we will need. He has access to all the supplies needed to rescue hikers and climbers. He knows to bring the basics as we won’t have much room.
My dad, his name is Joel, is getting basic supplies for the two of us. He really knows how to pack only what is needed.
My job is to get the tube, pulleys, and ropes hooked up for our departure. We have to get this done and get on the tube before dawn. That is when the thing will come back for me. I am not really afraid of it, but I do not want to take any chances on the outcome of a meeting. I really wish my dad was not going. I just don’t have a good feeling about this.
I got everything set up and went back to the ranger station to see how the others were doing. Both of them were there waiting for me. I asked the ranger for some rope and he said he was bringing extra. I told him I had to replace the rope for the pulley system as I was afraid it would not hold. He told me that he would help me change it. I told him that it was easy to change and to work with my dad and make sure we were not forgetting anything. Then, they could meet me at the stream and we could leave. I took the rope and ran down to the stream.
It was about 10 minutes later when my dad and the ranger arrived. Everything was set to go. We needed to wait for it to start to get light and then we would leave. In the summer in Maine, it gets light very early. I mean really early. At 4 A.M., it started to get light. We got the tube and each hooked a safety clip to the rope on the tube to make sure we didn’t fall off. It was a tight fit, but we did it.
I told them what to expect and that they needed to hang on and not let go no matter what. I told them it would happen fast. We quickly put the tube in the water and got on. The water immediately started to run faster. Then, what happened was bad!
“Look,” my dad said.
The thing was at the tree with the pulleys. He had a knife and was cutting the ropes.
“NO!” I shouted.
The thing looked and smiled and the rope was cut. The tube was going very fast now. The thing started running for the water and sort of dove or floated into the water. We were now moving very quickly. Suddenly, I could feel the grip on my leg. There were four other legs there. Why did he always choose mine?
“He has a hold of my leg,” I said.
“Can you kick him off?” asked my dad.
“I will get him off,” said my dad.
“No, don’t do that! Just hang tight. We are about to stop,” I said.
“What do you mean, he cut the rope.”
“You always said be prepared for the unexpected.”
At that very moment, the tube jerked and pulled back. We all went up in the air and the thing that was holding on to me went flying over my head and off into the water a long way downstream. That is when I saw my dad also going downstream.
“Dad!” I screamed.
Too late, he was gone and the water stopped.
“Get out of the water now! Get out of the water now!” said a voice I recognized.
I couldn’t move. My dad had just gone downstream and I didn’t know what to do.
“Get out of the water!”
Then, I felt arms around me and they dragged me out of the water.
“What have you done? Are you crazy? Why did you come back here?”
That is when Tom said, “Jason?”
The boy looked over at him and said, “Dad?”
I was right. It was Tom’s son. The two of them looked at each other but did not say anything else.
“My dad has been taken by the water and I need to go get him.”
I started toward the water when Jason grabbed a hold of my arm.
“You know you can’t go near that water.”
“I have to get my dad.”
“Not without a plan. I will help you but you have to first settle down and figure out just what has happened.”
“Jason, is that really you?” Tom asked.
“Yes it is really me. But, what happened to you in the water. You look so much older.”
“You look exactly like you did when you disappeared,” his dad said.
“But, why do you look so much older?” Jason asked.
“You have been gone for 12 years.”
Again, they both looked at each other and went silent.
“Are the other children with you?” I asked.
Jason looked at me with a very surprised expression.
“How do you know about the children?”
“Your dad told me the story of what happened the day you disappeared. I figured it out. I knew there was something in the woods around the camp but, I never realized it was kids. I also couldn’t figure out why you didn’t want to leave. We had a way out and you kept trying to fight it. It was because there wasn’t enough room for the kids and you couldn’t leave them. I also figured out that it wasn’t an accident that you fell off the tube. You jumped off to get back to the kids. You never intended to get back home with me.”
“Yes, the children are here and they are safe.”
“We need to figure out what happened to my dad. Why did his safety clip not hold?”
“Why did we stop so abruptly? The rope was cut by that thing.”
“I thought maybe something would go wrong so I used the rope you gave me and tied it to a bolder in the water and then to the tube. I thought it would be best if no one knew the second rope was there. That way if something did go wrong, we would have a second chance.”
“Well it worked!” said Tom.
“Not for my dad.”
I walked over to the tube and looked at the ropes. They were not broken and my dad’s clip was not there.
Tom looked at the tube and said, “Your dad’s clip did not break. He took it off. He was not going to let that thing have his daughter. I know exactly why he did it.”
“I have to get my dad back!”
“You will and I will help. You brought my dad to me and I will get your dad back to you.”